My two and a half year old son has taken to calling himself â€œMcLovinâ€™â€. Needless to say, that is not his name.
This new moniker originated courtesy of my husband, R. who, clearly in a moment of amazing judgment, decided to watch a portion of Superbad with our toddler son. As if exposing a toddler to this generationâ€™s Porkyâ€™s wasnâ€™t moronic enough, neglecting to remember that he recently has been parrot-like in his repeating of everything he hears just adds insult to the cinematic injury.“Technically that restriction mandates that kids under the age of 18 canâ€™t see it without an adult, and our kid was watching with an adult: me.”Like most Americans between the ages of 18 (okay, 14) and 35, I saw Superbad shortly after it came out, an I thought it was downright hysterical. The thought of my toddler son being exposed to it — or even to a line from the movie, howeverâ€¦.not so much.
When it was time to eat last night, I asked my son if he was ready for dinner.
â€œMcLovin wants to eat!â€ he sang.
Iâ€™d had enough.
â€œDude, the whole â€˜Iâ€™m McLovinâ€™!â€™ thing? What the hell were you thinking?â€ I hissed to my husband, who was giggling as he began warming up some mac and cheese.
â€œIâ€™m sorry,â€ he replied. It was clear to me that he didnâ€™t really mean it; he was just trying to shut me up.
â€œNow weâ€™re totally gonna get a call from his preschool asking us why heâ€™s calling himself McLovinâ€™,â€ I groaned.
â€œOr from one of the other parents, saying that their kid learned it from ours,â€ he answered, laughing. I didnâ€™t join him.
â€œSeriously, what made you think that teaching him to say â€œIâ€™m McLovinâ€™!â€ was a good idea?â€ I demanded. At this point, I was starting to get really mad. I pictured myself as one of those cartoon characters who begins turning so red with anger that steam begins blowing out of her ears. â€œThereâ€™s a reason why the Motion Picture Association of America deemed the movie inappropriate for people under the age of 18,â€ I said.
â€œUm, technically that restriction mandates that kids under the age of 18 canâ€™t see it without an adult, and our kid was watching with an adult: me,â€ my husband, the annoying lawyer, replied. â€œCome on â€“ itâ€™s funny.! Itâ€™s not like heâ€™s gonna say it forever.â€ His nonchalance only made me angrier.
When we were childless, occasions in which my husband I disagreed always involved matters of minimal importance â€“ things like which restaurant we should meet our friends at for brunch that Sunday, if we should switch dry cleaners and whether we should get a new sofa. Ultimately, the effects of such decisions didnâ€™t matter in the grand scheme of things; if we ended up making the wrong decision, weâ€™d still eat, have clean clothes or a place to sit.
When making decisions regarding our child, however, the stakes are dramatically higher â€“ probably because the focus of our opinions is another human (who just happens to be our progeny). And because the stakes are so high, on those rare instances when we do disagree, neither of us are usually willing to concede our opinions, which weâ€™re always certain are as right as the otherâ€™s are wrong. As was the case with the McLovinâ€™ incident, I sometimes wonder, how R. could he even think that his ideas regarding the raising of our child make any sense? At the same time, I imagine he often wonders where on Earth Iâ€™m getting the information to base my judgment, not to mention why on Earth Iâ€™m so anal.
With McLovinâ€™, it’s clear weâ€™re going to have to agree to disagree yet again. That doesnâ€™t mean, however, that I havenâ€™t plotted my revenge: Iâ€™m looking forward to how R. reacts when my son and I have a Dirty Dancing viewing party this weekend.
Nobody puts our baby in the corner.